- COVID-19 is mutating says, scientists
- Scientists claim the mutating could be a “good” thing
- A certain type of mutation has been found to be less lethal
A prominent infectious disease doctor has said that an increasingly common mutation of the novel Coronavirus is found in North America, Europe and some parts of Asia which could be more infectious, however, appears to be less fatal.
Paul Tambyah who is the senior consultant at the National University of Singapore and also the President of the International Society of Infectious Disease said that the evidence gathered shows that the proliferation of D614G mutation in some areas of the world has coincided with a drop in death rates, suggesting it is less lethal.
Tambayah was quoted by an international news agency, “Maybe that’s a good thing to have a virus that is more infectious but less deadly,”.
Tambyah has said that most viruses tend to become less lethal as they mutate.
He said that “It is in the virus’ interest to infect more people but not to kill them because a virus depends on the host for food and for shelter,”.
Scientists had discovered the mutation as early as February and it had circulated in Europe and other parts of America said the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The global health organisation also said that there has been no evidence that the mutation has led to a rise in the severity of the cases.
Director General of Health of Malaysia, Noor Hisham Abdullah, on Sunday, urged greater public vigilance after the authorities detected what they believe was the D614G mutation of the coronavirus in two recent clusters.
Sebastian Maurer-Stroh of Singapore’s agency for science, technology and research had said that the variant has also been found in the city-state, however, added that the containment measures have prevented large-scale spread.
Noor Hisham said that the D614G strain detected have been found to be 10 times more infectious and that vaccines currently in development may not be effective against this mutation.
Having said this, both Tambyah and Maurer-Stroh said such mutations would not likely change the virus enough to make potential vaccines less effective. Maurer-Stroh said, “(The) variants are almost identical and did not change areas that our immune system typically recognise, so there shouldn’t be any difference for vaccines being developed,”.